Dr. Sojung Hong
Professor, Director of Master of Arts in Community Music
An active pianist, dedicated educator, and ardent advocate of community outreach in music, Sojung Lee Hong has performed extensively in the Chicagoland area and has taught at summer music festivals and workshops in South Korea.
With her enthusiastic servant leadership, she has organized numerous benefit concerts for schools, charity organizations, and churches. As an artist-teacher, Hong has presented multiple lecture-recitals for conferences of the College Music Society and the Illinois Music Teachers Association. In addition to appearing on such prestigious concert stages as the Seoul Arts Center and the Hoam Arts Center in Korea, she has brought the joy of music to senior communities and libraries in the suburbs of Chicago. As the founding director of the Performance Certificate program at Judson University, for many years she has organized annual scholarship fundraising concerts to support gifted music students from Korea. These successful fundraising concerts, known as the “Open Future Concerts,” have been held at prominent venues in Chicago such as the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, the Prairie Center for the Arts, and the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall at Northwestern University. In 2017, the YWCA Elgin honored her with the Margaret Hillis Award for the Arts, given to an individual who has advanced the arts in the communities of the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
For the Korean American community, Hong has started two concert series, “Mozart in the Morning” and “Classic Concert” at the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago. She has performed Korean-themed piano compositions at diverse venues in the Midwestern states, in collaboration with the Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Korean Dance Company under the full sponsorship of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago. In her tireless effort to blend two cultures, she released two piano CD albums, “From East to West” (2020) and “Rhythms of Korea” (2023) through grants awarded by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Hong’s Christian music albums released in the past decade include “Whispers from Heaven,” “Tranquility,” “Christmas Kaleidoscope,” and “Garden of Grace.”
Hong’s musical gifts and influence have spanned the globe. She has given a concert and church music workshop at Life University in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, as well as in her native South Korea. With the support of Music from Above, a Christian mission organization based in New York, she performed at the Izamal Community Center, Teatro Mérida in Mexico, Manuel Seoane Corrales School (Lima), and the Civic Convention Center (Cusco) in Peru in collaboration with other Christian musicians. Attendees at the concert, which was held in the poorest suburb of Lima, experienced live classical music for the first time in their lives.
Hong received the President’s Award at graduation from Seoul National University (B.M. and M.M.) and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and literature at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. Currently, as Professor of Music and the Director of the Master of Music in Community Music program at Judson University, she strives to promote cultural diversity through teaching, performance, and research.
- DMA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- MA, BA, Seoul National University, South Korea
- President Award, Seoul National University, South Korea
- President Award (honored as valedictorian), Seoul Arts High School, South Korea
- 2022 recipient of the SNUAA USA Service Award from Seoul National University Alumni Association in the USA
- 2017 recipient of the Margaret Hillis Award for the Arts
- 2017 recognition for valuable contributions to the music department at Judson University
- Executive Director at Little Light Midwest Musicians, a non-profit organization which promotes cultural diversity through music.
- Director of the Performing Arts Division at Korean Cultural Center of Chicago
College Music Society
Music Teachers National Association
Illinois State Music Teachers Association